French law enforcement officers conducted searches at two Nestlé water bottling facilities yesterday (9 April), following accusations concerning the illicit disposal of plastic bottle remnants.

The operations were carried out at the company’s establishments in Vosges, as confirmed by a spokesperson for Nestlé to Just Drinks.

The inquiries pertain to an investigation “opened in the past on the environmental aspects of the former landfills”.

“As we have done since the beginning of the investigation, we continue to cooperate fully with the authorities”, the spokesperson relayed.

They further disclosed that “Two-thirds of the affected sites have already been cleaned up by Nestlé Waters and we are awaiting feedback from the environmental authorities to specify the best management option for the remaining three sites.”

The spokesperson underscored that despite the landfills dating back to the 1960s, prior to Nestlé Waters’ acquisition, the company remains steadfast in its commitment to address the issues associated with these old dumping grounds.

Moreover, Nestlé has affirmed its dedication to “taking action and financing everything necessary for the management of the former landfills, under the control of the environmental authorities”.

Local media outlet France Bleu Sud Lorraine reported that the search was instigated by a complaint made last year by the national environmental campaign group Collectif Eau 88.

The activist group alleged that over 40,000 cubic metres of PVC waste had been neglected in landfills at Nestlé’s water production locales in the Saint-Ouen-lès-Parey and They-sous-Montfort areas.

Bernard Schmitt, a member of Collectif Eau 88, informed France Bleu Sud Lorraine, “The Saint-Ouen-lès-Parey landfill is closed and is not accessible. On the other hand, the one located in They-sous-Montfort is accessible and I would say open to the four winds.”

He expressed concerns about the potential for “chemical pollution in the short term and then physical pollution with micro and nano plastics” due to the condition of these sites.

Reflecting on the recent police action, Schmitt observed that “things are moving forward, with specialized and increasingly competent courts”.

This development is said to be unrelated to the separate probe into the standards and processing of Nestlé’s bottled waters.

Earlier this year, Nestlé acknowledged non-compliance with French water regulations in the handling of certain bottled water products.

Subsequently, an inquiry into the firm’s water treatment practices was initiated.

The investigation is reportedly being led by the local prosecutors from the Épinal law courts in northeastern France, as per Le Monde.

In a recent turn of events, ANSES, France’s Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, disclosed that it had expressed concerns to the French government about the quality of Nestlé’s mineral water last October.

ANSES conveyed to Just Drinks that its evaluation “attests to an insufficient level of confidence” in the water’s quality.

In response, Nestlé reassured the public about the safety of its bottled water, affirming to Just Drinks that all its bottled water products are fit for consumption.


Sam Allcock, a seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of expertise in Food & Drink Editorial.

Leave A Reply